Clean And Modern , or Art Deco , For My Next Home ?
I have a dilema . I love cars , particularly race cars . I have raced since the mid 80's . In 2004 , a mate and fellow competitor , and myself , set up a business building , fixing and maintaining race cars and road cars . The 2 of us and 2 staff . Business grew , by 2008 I left working there full-time , we had 7 staff . I still own 50% of the place , still call in 2 or 3 times a week , still have crazy ideas haha . EWe now have 20 staff , a specialist $400k transporter that takes 4 cars and mobile workshop to the track . We have a late model tow truck , 4 V8 utes , a V8 van , 2 covered in trailers , 2 open car transporter trailers .
A few years ago I bought a Mercedes van . After a year , I filled it out with a bed , solar panels , 2 large house batteries , 240volt inverter , a gas califont , a shower , a fridge , microwave , TV , water tanks , gas stove , chemical toilet . It was already factory lined , had dark tinted windows . I have used it for staying at the track , picking up and delivering parts all over NZ , going away on my own or occassionally with a girlfriend . It can tow a racecar on a trailer , at reasonable speed , but you know its there .
Last year , I got offered a 'Frankenstein' mobile home -- built mid 90's , on a 1976 Ford D series chassis , 9.5 metres long ( so pretty big ) built by one of NZ's best known caravan and motor home companies . 6 berth , fairly dated interior now , fake woodgrain ling , solid wood cabinets and kitchen , double bedroom , double bed above the cab , booth seating that makes another double bed . Shower , matriculating ( I think thats what its called ) toilet . In about 2005 the original cab was replaced with a new Hino one , the 165 horsepower Cummins V8 diesel was replaced with a 450 horse Dodge Viper V10 motor , 4 stage auto , 2 speed rear axle , and 4 large tanks of LPG . Done quite well , looks more modern , goes really well . Its a 45 year old base , I've had it at 120km/h , in theory it would do 180-200km/h , but it runs on 9 tonne stickers ( its about 7.5tonne 'empty' ) .
The original idea was to paint it ( presently off white with 1990's muddy green and muddy brown stripes , and the newer cab is a sharper white , and where the cab joins the body , a 3rd shade of white was used . Then rebuild the interior . So far , I have added 2 32 inch TV's to replace the 19 inch ones , and done the lino-ed floor in fake wood .
But to get it how I want I reckon $60k more , on top of the $40k I paid , and the $10k spent so far ( its had all new power steering and brake lines , ball joints and brakes and wwheel bearings , as well as alloy truck wheels ) .
So instead of having a $100k plus Frankenstein , I thought I'll start again .
The 2 likely choices at this stage -- a 2008 12 metre long Volvo bus , all stripped out , with huge baggage area underneath . Well maintained , can design it exactly as I want , go modern and even luxury , lots of varnished wood and marble bench , possibly even sleep 8 , maybe 2 bathrooms , 2 fridges , etc .
OR a 1950 Bedford bus . Chassis a bit doubtful , motor is there but I'll ignore it , 9 metres long . The idea -- a whole new chassis , new suspension , new motor ( V12 or V16 twin turbo diesel ) , go tandem rear drive and extend it to 12 metres long . What got me thinking Art Deco is it has aluminium ribbed rubbing strips on the side , the front is rounded . the round headlights are mounted on pedestals , it has a biggish chromed grille , it has art deco style 'wing' logos . The body is in fairly good condition , it has rounded roof panels , rounded rear end with an oval rear window and 3 round taillights either side .
It has character . It is cheap , but it will probably end up being more expensive than the late model Volvo , take longer , be more challenging , but it will showcase our talents . Maybe even do the interior in full-on 1920's with 3D scalloped ceilings , white and gold and marble interior , something crazy like a water feature or spa pool or roulette wheel ?
Should I go full on mad , or sane and sensible ?